OPEN AS USUAL
Mar 25, 2020
Coronavirus Coping Strategies For The Entrepreneur
In this article, we offer simple, quick solutions for businessmen dealing with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
1. Overcoming Social Distancing.
If you don't go near people, or touch what others have breathed on or touched, you can't get the virus. This is a smart strategy from the government, but a great burden for a business.
Businesses which are mainly digital can handle this by working remotely as much as possible. But what about people-friendly businesses?
The answer is to work out who actually needs to be together and instructing those few in keeping their distance from each other, wearing masks and surgical gloves and changing or disinfecting these regularly. Common surfaces that everyone touches are few, and can be disinfected quite easily.
Uneducated staff must be educated in the realities, rather than the fantasies, of basic hygiene in an epidemic.
2. Time To Drop The Inessential.
Management loves meetings. Marketing loves mass mail outs. Secretaries love to gossip by the water cooler. Coders ... tend to be loners anyway. Cut the admin overhead and keep the company going.
You may be surprised, as a business owner with staff, how well your employees can get on with the job if given the moral support to do so.
We are not at a state of war or natural disaster. The cunning businessman will take a step back from the hype and work out a solution to the real problems and not the ones flagged by hysterical media pundits writing clickbait.
Regrettably, you may need to lay off non-essential staff. It's nice to be a nice guy, but if your business goes under, then no one has a job, including you.
3. Crisis-Proof Your Income.
The pandemic should be looked at as a way of investigating how to disaster-proof your business; if there's a war, fire, hurricane or a simple 48-hour power outage, can you cope?
Our society has not been seriously tested since the Second World War. This current crisis is a means to stress-test your own business, as it is also a stress test for the wider community.
What would you do if foreign soldiers come? This is a golden opportunity to have a backup or 'bug-out' strategy in place.
4. Recession? So What?
Yes, there will probably be a recession. What popular media haven't told you is that western economies weren't too healthy before the crisis. Simply put: too many entities had too much debt and borrowing money at low interest rates was far too easy.
We were buying too much from China and killing off our own industries. The money went into stocks, which are now being sold off in a natural reaction to the uncertainty ahead. Bears were predicting a 'correction' long before this crisis hit.
This means that weak businesses will fail and the stronger ones can grow. Whoever can last the longest will win by default. That could be you. Sell the staff espresso machine but keep your marketing budget as-is.
5. Help From The Government? Nice, But Don't Rely On it!
To get money from any government means form-filling and then delays. Governments are promising taxpayers money (your money) to bail-out businesses. This tends to be a blunderbuss strategy; one shot only. Then there is no money to do it again.
Have your most bookish staff member look into getting the free money, but don't expect it any time soon. However, some businesses subsist entirely on government grants, so, if they're giving money away, then get it!
6. Tell Your Customers What's Going On.
Put the best gloss on the actual facts: 'Business As Usual, But Possible Delays'. Now is not the time to preen yourself in public or go too negative either. As the crisis continues, the public will be getting tired of hearing more about it.
Your clients want reassurance that you're still in business and on-point. Give it to them.
7. Time On Your Hands? Get Some Jobs Done.
If business is slow, get those necessary jobs you've been putting off done while you still have the time to allot to them. When the upturn comes, it could be very big and very fast.
8. Plan For The Future.
This crisis will pass. Then what? If you know what to do but your competition hasn't been thinking ahead, you will have gained a competitive advantage.
9. Communicate With Your Staff.
For many of your staff, this will be the first national crisis they have had to face. Keep morale up by being positive, without being deceitful. Human ingenuity can overcome most of the problems mankind faces. If you can't think of the answer yourself, the internet is your friend!
10. Renegotiate Contracts.
Everyone is now aware that There Is A Problem. Try to renegotiate contracts and debts. A creditor would prefer 70p in the pound to nothing at all, if he thinks you might go under.
Conversely, large companies and organisations fat with money should pay their debts to the smaller ones, so as to keep them going in time for the upturn.
11. Work With And Around Government Edicts.
Fine. You are only allowed out in certain circumstances. Head off any trouble from the authorities by wearing a mask and gloves and having some proof on you that you are about your legitimate business.
The police can't stop everyone; the manpower doesn't exist. It would be economically suicidal to entirely stop personal movement.
Find some way to get your goods from the individual to the individual, rather than the crowd. In time, we will all know what to do to get on with our lives while still not spreading disease, so get ahead of the crowd by being proactive about it.
The main thing is to maintain a positive outlook and look for solutions when everyone else is not so focused. In the 1940s buzz bombs were dropping out of the sky in London, where Registered Address is based. This crisis, while of a different kind, can be overcome.